Jaida Dreyer is a well-known name in the world of country music, having written songs for A-list artists like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sara Evans and Eric Church. But for the first time in her career, Dreyer was the face of her song, after winning Season 1 of Real Country on the USA network.
“It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I’m so glad that I did it,” Dreyer told PopCulture.com. “To be able to stand on that stage and be authentically myself as an artist, and to also represent the real working songwriters – especially the females in Nashville – was a really cool thing.”
Dreyer was invited to compete on the new show by Jake Owen, who was one of three panelists, among five-time Grammy award winner, Shania Twain, and country music icon Travis Tritt. As a songwriter, the former contestant says she and Owen had the same friends within the industry, but she never worked with him prior to the competition.
“I’ve met him in passing," Dreyer said. "If I had seen him out at a party, I never would have gone up to him and said hi. I would now. I wouldn’t have then.”
“It was such a treat to be invited by him," she added. "I’m such a fan of his."
During the finale, Dreyer performed a song she wrote titled “Jack It to Jesus (Spray It to Hell.)” She admits it was nerve-wracking choosing to perform one of her songs, when other contestants chose popular country hits.
“It was scary to sing an original among some of the greatest country music songs of all time,” she said. “You have a ‘Jolene’ in there, you have a ‘I Hope You Dance’ and it was a gamble; I feel like I took a big risk.”
“Jack It to Jesus (Spray It to Hell)” isn’t a phrase you hear often, let alone see it as a song title. The recent winner says a friend of hers, who owns a salon, became the inspiration for the tune.
“She’s had the pleasure of doing Loretta Lynn’s hair and makeup over the years and she says every time she sits down with Loretta, that Loretta looks at her in the mirror and says, ‘Jack it to Jesus and spray it to hell!’"
Although there was a risk, singing not only her song, but not knowing how the viewers or judges would react to that decision, it was one she was willing to take.
“If I was going to go on national television and potentially lose in front of millions of people, I wanted to lose by being me.”
Dreyer has been approached by similar shows like American Idol and The Voice, but none of them resonated with her. She says at that point in her career, it just didn’t feel right. That’s why Real Country appealed to the singer, because it allowed her to flourish in a genre she feels so passionately about.
By winning, Dreyer earned a performance at The Grand Ole Opry, Stagecoach Music Festival and a check for $100,000.00. With such a big windfall, Dreyer wants to pay some bills with the money and advance her career with it.
“Hopefully I’m going to finish my record with it and get back on the road," Dreyer revealed. "Mostly, I just need to put it somewhere and forget that I have it.”4comments
Purchase Dreyer’s song “Jack It to Jesus (Spray It to Hell)” on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond